14.3.08

Reverse Logic

At my cell group last night, we were given sheets to fill out - like at a seminar. The sheets had verses followed by sentences with blanks. We were supposed to fill in the blanks according to what the verses said. This was an example that I didn't particularly like.
Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.
2 Timothy 3:16 (ASV)

1. In what does the Bible teach us? (Justice)
2. The Bible is completely (true).
3. It is the highest (authority) that exists.
4. The Bible tells us of all the knowledge and the purposes of God (that we need to know in order to live in victory with God).
5. The Bible teaches us what is necessary of the plan that God has to save the sinner.
As a Christian, I have strong affection to the Bible, without it, my faith in Jesus Christ would make no sense (some say it makes no sense even with the Bible - other discussion). I do not however adhere to statements 1-4. I think they are an affront to my intelligence. And none of these statements is supported by this verse in Timothy!

I have a serious issue with making claims based on the Bible that can not be validated. There is plenty of truth and discussion in the Bible without a necessity to make outlandish claims.

I'm not going to comment on my feelings towards finishing sentences based on readings as a manner of teaching.

5 comments:

sirdar said...

Almost sounds like an agenda was being pushed there. I would agree that the answers don't answer the verse. It is basically saying that if the scripture is inspired of God, that it is subject to change depending on your beliefs. You can either believe the exact words or change them (for reproof, for correction) to fit your spiritual needs. Of course I fall into the "makes no sense even with the Bible" side, so my interpretation could be biased.

Zaak said...

Yeah, I don't think we agree on the interpretation. But I think in order to fully understand the verse, one would have to read the verses around it - a bit of context so to speak.

dawn said...

I think I would have been confused by the fill in the blank questions. But perhaps I haven't been studying enough.

Anonymous said...

As I was reading your comments I was concerned about some of your perceptions and conclusions:

2. Timothy 3:16
Spanish: Toda la Escritura es inspirada por Dios y útil para enseñar, para reprender, para corregir y para instruir en la justicia, (NVI)
English: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, (NIV)

You wrote: “1. In what does the Bible teach us? (Justice)”

Justice?
In translating the Spanish notes from the cell group teaching into English, you have translated the Spanish word ‘justicia’ to mean ‘justice’ when in fact in the Spanish Bible, the word ‘justicia’ is equivalent to the English word: ‘righteousness’

Other examples of this translation:
Matthew 5:6
Spanish: Dichosos los que tienen hambre y sed de justicia… (NVI)
English: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness… (NIV)

Matthew 6:33
Spanish: Más bien, busquen primeramente el reino de Dios y su justicia… (NVI)
English: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness… (NIV)

2. Corinthians 5:21
Spanish: … para que en él recibiéramos la justicia de Dios (NVI)
English: … so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (NIV)


Only the first ‘fill in the blank’ was associated with the verse in Timothy, and Scripture certainly is there to “correct us and train us in righteousness”

You wrote:
“2. The Bible is completely (true).
3. It is the highest (authority) that exists.
4. The Bible tells us of all the knowledge and the purposes of God (that we need to know in order to live in victory with God).
5. The Bible teaches us what is necessary of the plan that God has to save the sinner.
I do not however adhere to statements 1-4. I think they are an affront to my intelligence.”

These other statements that followed the first, are well supported by a multitude of other Scriptures and are foundational truths for the evangelical believer. In a simplified version they are teaching the principles that Martin Luther and many followers after him have died for.

You wrote: “I'm not going to comment on my feelings towards finishing sentences based on readings as a manner of teaching”

Is it simplified? Very simplified! Most of our people in the cell groups have not received a formal education, some are illiterate and 50% are under the age of 17. In fairness to these people, we read the verse and make a simple summary. We, as missionaries are here to serve them.

Les Peters
Tactic AV

Zaak said...

Thanks for your comments Les.

I acknowledge that I should have used the word righteousness, rather than justice. For me the words are connected: a just man/a righteous man: same thing.

In addition, you are right in saying that the teaching should be simple and accessible. I disagree with fill in the blank teaching however because it does not encourage discussion and thus a deeper understanding of scripture.

In the statements that I disagree with, there are nuances that trouble me. The fact that they go undiscussed is what upsets me the most:

2 - The Bible is completely true. I believe that the Bible is truth, I don't believe it is all fact, nor do I believe it to be the only source of truth.

3. It is the highest authority that exists. I agree that as Christians we should use the Bible as a standard, but that ultimately God's authority supersedes this. I consider the fact that women are allowed in leadership in churches (some), whereas the Bible has strong words against this. Where did the authority come from to decide as churches to allow women to participate in leadership (or the abolishment of slavery) when the Bible clearly speaks to the contrary. I believe God still speaks today and to each culture in order to bring them closer to His plans for them.

4. The Bible tells us of all the knowledge and the purposes of God that we need to know in order to live in victory with God. I believe that there are more purposes and more knowledge that the Bible does not speak to us on, that we find in communion with God and in communion with fellow believers. To limit ourselves to the Bible is to limit God's work in our lives. In order to use your comment about the illiteracy in our community, if they are unable to enjoy the Bible in a way that I, as a literate person can, then are they prohibitively limited in their knowledge of God. I don't think so.

I appreciate that people have died for these tenets of faith. This does not mean that these statements should go unchallenged, nor that they should be written in stone. I think they are stepping stones in faith and in Christian history.

Again, thanks for taking the time to reply to this post.